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4 Useful Ways You Can Repurpose Old Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard is among the most used materials in the world. Not only does it make for perfect packaging used in many industries, it is also easy to recycle. But homeowners often choose not to throw old cardboard boxes away because the material can have numerous uses. What can you do with all that cardboard lying around?

Sure, you can always recycle it. In fact, the percentage of U.S. citizens who choose to recycle cardboard has increased from 55% in 1993 to a stunning 89% in 2014, according to the latest data. Recycling cardboard is great because doing so saves a lot less energy and produces less dangerous greenhouse gasses. Still, there’s a limit to how much you can recycle the cardboard, as the fibers inside it get shorter each time it’s recycled.

Repurpose Old Cardboard Boxes

Our recycling bin using an old cardboard box

But even if you don’t choose to recycle cardboard, there are numerous uses for all the excess lying around your home. You can repurpose old cardboard into something you can actually use. In this article, we’ll give you a couple of ideas.

Light Your Fire

Even though people often use sticks, branches and twigs to kindle a fire while out camping or in their fireplace, adding cardboard to the mix can help you create a quick and even fire. Make sure to cut the cardboard into thin strips and weave them around sticks, branches or whatever you’re using to kindle the fire. This will help light the fire easier, even if conditions are less than ideal. This could help if there’s a lot of humidity in the area where you’re trying to light the fire. Dry cardboard can help with that, and your fire will last longer and produce a more steady burn.

Reuse for Shipping

Repurpose Old Cardboard Boxes

While this is probably the most obvious way to use old cardboard boxes, a lot of homeowners still choose to recycle their cardboard and buy brand new boxes at the post office. But if you recently received a cardboard package of any shape and style, you could easily find a way to reuse it to ship something yourself. Simply replace your address with a blank paper where you’ll write the new recipient’s address.

Eliminating Weeds in Your Garden

Did you know that cardboard makes for a great compost? Therefore, it can have numerous uses in your garden. One of the best uses is to battle persistent weeds. Cardboard can help eliminate the weed by blocking out the sun, killing weed in the process. To do this, you need to break the boxes into flat cardboard sheets. Place the cardboard sheets over the weed-infested area. Soak the cardboard up with water and add an extra level of soil. After a couple of weeks you’ll see that your weed problem is gone without having to use dangerous weed killers.

A Gift for Your Pet

Repurpose Old Cardboard Boxes

If you have a furry friend like a cat or a dog, all you need to do is simply give them a box, and they’ll find a fun way to use it. But you can also repurpose it into an impromptu bed, a scratching post or a toy. For example, you can punch a hole in one side of the box and add noisy trinkets inside it. Watch your cat have fun trying to fish the trinkets out.

DIY Recycling Bin for Kids + Tzu Chi Recycling Day

Teaching kids about value of recycling is really important. I think we don’t have to wait till kids grow to teach them the value of recycling and caring for our mother nature.

DIY Recycling Bin for kids

After I received a leaflet about Tzu Chi Recycling Day, I decided not to collect recyclable items only by myself; instead I wanted to join my toddler with the cause. As a start we made this DIY Recycling Bin which is a funful and educational activity to do with toddlers or even with grown up kids.

DIY Recycling Bin for Kids

Here is what we did. You can add some more ideas to this DIY Recycling Bin and make it more beautiful.

We used,

  •  A cardboard box (Actually what we used is an empty cake box which is supposed to throw)
  • Crepe paper for decoration
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Sellotape

First we removed the lid of the cardboard box. Then I used sellotape on edges to make the box stronger.

DIY Recycling Bin for kids

Using the green colour crepe paper we made recycle symbol and we also pasted another purple colour crepe paper on top of the box just to make it beautiful.

DIY Recycling Bin for kids

DIY Recycling Bin for kids

Finally, it is done!

DIY Recycling Bin for kids

We have a beautiful Recycling Bin.

Now we can collect recyclable materials in this box till the next collection date. Last few days I collected few yogurt cups and milk bottles, so we put those into our recycle box.

DIY Recycling Bin for kids

Remember to wash and clean all items before collecting.After collecting recyclables,it is time to send those to a recycling point in your neighborhood!

Tzu Chi Recycling Day

In Singapore, every second Sunday of each month is Tzu Chi Recycling Day. Few days ago Tzu Chi Volunteers visited our neighborhood including our home to encourage residents to collect recyclable items. I missed joining with the April Tzu Chi Recycling Day, but I am preparing to join with the next Recycling Day together with my toddler.

Hope I will be able to teach him the value of preserving earth from his young age!

Also check : 4 Useful Ways You Can Repurpose Old Cardboard Boxes

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